Chiang Kai-shek

Chiang Kai-shek
Chiang in 1943
Chairman of the National Government of the Republic of China
In office
10 October 1943  20 May 1948
Acting: 1 August 1943 – 10 October 1943
PremierT. V. Soong
Vice ChairmanSun Fo
Preceded byLin Sen
Succeeded byPosition abolished (himself as President of the Republic of China)
In office
10 October 1928  15 December 1931
PremierTan Yankai
T. V. Soong
Preceded byTan Yankai
Succeeded byLin Sen
Chairman of the Military Affairs Commission
In office
15 December 1931  31 May 1946
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byPosition abolished
1st President of the Republic of China
In office
1 March 1950  5 April 1975
PremierYan Xishan
Chen Cheng
Yu Hung-Chun
Yen Chia-kan
Chiang Ching-kuo
Vice PresidentLi Zongren
Chen Cheng
Yen Chia-kan
Preceded byLi Zongren (Acting)
Succeeded byYen Chia-kan
In office
20 May 1948  21 January 1949
PremierChang Chun
Wong Wen-hao
Sun Fo
Vice PresidentLi Zongren
Preceded byPosition established (himself as Chairman of the Nationalist government)
Succeeded byLi Zongren (Acting)
Premier of the Republic of China
In office
1 March 1947  18 April 1947
Preceded byT. V. Soong
Succeeded byChang Chun
In office
20 November 1939  31 May 1945
PresidentLin Sen
Preceded byH. H. Kung
Succeeded byT. V. Soong
In office
9 December 1935  1 January 1938
PresidentLin Sen
Preceded byWang Jingwei
Succeeded byH. H. Kung
In office
4 December 1930  15 December 1931
Preceded byT. V. Soong
Succeeded byChen Mingshu
Chairman of the Kuomintang
In office
12 May 1936  1 April 1938
Preceded byHu Hanmin
Succeeded byHimself as Director-General of the Kuomintang
In office
6 July 1926  11 March 1927
Preceded byZhang Renjie
Succeeded byWoo Tsin-hang and Li Yuying
Director-General of the Kuomintang
In office
1 April 1938  5 April 1975
DeputyWang Jingwei
Chen Cheng
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byChiang Ching-kuo (as Chairman of the Kuomintang)
Personal details
Born(1887-10-31)31 October 1887
Xikou, Fenghua, Ningbo, Zhejiang, Qing Empire
Died5 April 1975(1975-04-05) (aged 87)
Shilin Official Residence,[1][2] Shihlin District, or Taipei Central Hospital,[3] Taipei, Taiwan (Republic of China)
Resting placeCihu Mausoleum, Taoyuan, Taiwan
NationalityRepublic of China
Political partyKuomintang
Spouse(s)Mao Fumei
Yao Yecheng
Chen Jieru
Soong Mei-ling
ChildrenChiang Ching-kuo
Chiang Wei-kuo (adopted)
Alma materBaoding Military Academy, Tokyo Shinbu Gakko
AwardsOrder of National Glory, Order of Blue Sky and White Sun, Order of the Sacred Tripod, Legion of Merit
Military service
"Red General"[4]
Allegiance Empire of Japan (1909–1911)
 Republic of China (1911–1975)
Branch/service Imperial Japanese Army (1909–1911)
 Republic of China Army (1911–1975)
Years of service1909–1975
Rank Generalissimo (特級上將)
Battles/warsXinhai Revolution, Northern Expedition, Sino-Tibetan War, Kumul Rebellion, Soviet invasion of Xinjiang, Chinese Civil War, Second Sino-Japanese War, Kuomintang Islamic Insurgency in China (1950–1958)
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese蔣介石
Simplified Chinese蒋介石
register name
Traditional Chinese蔣周泰
Simplified Chinese蒋周泰
milk name
Traditional Chinese蔣瑞元
Simplified Chinese蒋瑞元
school name
Traditional Chinese蔣志清
Simplified Chinese蒋志清
adopted name
Traditional Chinese蔣中正
Simplified Chinese蒋中正

Chiang Kai-shek (31 October 1887 – 5 April 1975),[3] also known as Chiang Chung-cheng and romanized via Mandarin as Chiang Chieh-shih and Jiang Jieshi, was a Chinese Nationalist politician, revolutionary and military leader who served as the leader of the Republic of China from 1928, first in mainland China until 1949 and then in Taiwan, until his death in 1975.

Born in Chekiang (Zhejiang) Province, Chiang was a member of the Kuomintang (KMT) and a lieutenant of Sun Yat-sen in the revolution to overthrow the Beiyang government and reunify China. With help from the Soviets and the Communist Party of China (CPC, commonly known as the Chinese Communist Party or CCP), Chiang organized the military for Sun's Canton Nationalist Government and headed the Whampoa Military Academy. Commander in chief of the National Revolutionary Army (from which he came to be known as Generalissimo), he led the Northern Expedition from 1926 to 1928, before defeating a coalition of warlords and nominally reunifying China under a new Nationalist government. Midway through the Northern Expedition, the KMT–CPC alliance broke down and Chiang purged the communists inside the party, triggering a civil war with the CPC, which he eventually lost in 1949.

As leader of the Republic of China in the Nanjing decade, Chiang sought to strike a difficult balance between modernizing China while also devoting resources to defending the nation against the CPC, warlords, and the impending Japanese threat. Trying to avoid a war with Japan while hostilities with the CPC continued, he was kidnapped in the Xi'an Incident and obliged to form an Anti-Japanese United Front with the CPC. Following the Marco Polo Bridge Incident in 1937, he mobilized China for the Second Sino-Japanese War. For eight years he led the war of resistance against a vastly superior enemy, mostly from the wartime capital Chongqing. As the leader of a major Allied power, Chiang met with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the Cairo Conference to discuss terms for Japanese surrender. No sooner had the Second World War ended than the Civil War with the communists, by then led by Mao Zedong, resumed. Chiang's nationalists were mostly defeated in a few decisive battles in 1948.

In 1949 Chiang's government and army retreated to Taiwan, where Chiang imposed martial law and persecuted critics during the White Terror. Presiding over a period of social reforms and economic prosperity, Chiang won five elections to six-year terms as President of the Republic of China and was Director-General of the Kuomintang until his death in 1975, three years into his fifth term as President and just one year before Mao's death.

One of the longest-serving non-royal heads of state in the 20th century, Chiang was the longest-serving non-royal ruler of China, having held the post for 46 years. Like Mao, he is regarded as a controversial figure. Supporters credit him with playing a major part in unifying the nation and leading the Chinese resistance against Japan, as well as with countering Soviet-communist encroachment. Detractors and critics denounce him as a dictator at the front of a corrupt authoritarian regime who suppressed opponents.